Five-Year Scheme Targeted Retirees
$25 Million In Losses To More Than 300 Victims
Financial Advisor Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison
Unscrupulous financial advisors, insurance agents and retirement planners (among others) often target seniors with their fraudulent schemes. Typically, the approach is to offer a senior an investment “opportunity” that promises higher returns than a senior can get on a safe investment like a CD or an established mutual fund. Seniors anxious about future income may be susceptible to these approaches, and should always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fraudulent schemes against seniors may violate federal and State securities laws against unregistered offerings and solicitations but also constitute financial elder abuse when the investor is over age 65. Financial elder abuse is a crime and a basis for civil lawsuits to recover from the abuser. See Cal. Penal Code § 368 and Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse for civil liability). Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents seniors here in San Francisco and throughout California who suffer financial elder abuse at the hands of financial advisors, insurance agents, caregivers or others. If you or an older loved one have been the victim of financial elder abuse call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
Financial Advisor Sentenced To 35 Years For Fraud Against Senior Investors
In one recently reported case, a former investment advisor was sentenced after having been convicted earlier this year of running a massive fraud scheme that cost investors more than $25 million in losses. According to prosecutors, the advisor started his career in finance in 1996. In 2010, he was working as a securities broker when he was barred from the industry for an illegal kickback scheme he was involved in. Shortly after that, according to prosecutors, he created an investment company and began the fraud that eventually led to his conviction. He authored a book on investing and hosted a syndicated radio show about finances. According to the government, the advisor convinced clients to invest in companies that were actually controlled by him. When the State of Virginia moved in to close down his business at one point, he moved it to Florida and continued his schemes according to prosecutors. Clients came from all over the country based on the reach of his syndicated radio show. Prosecutors alleged that many clients cashed out their 401K accounts to invest with him. According to the charges, he promised investors big returns but once he had their money he immediately took 20-70% for himself. Most of his elderly clients lost everything they had. Many had to go back to work to make up for their lost income. At the height of his success, according to prosecutors, defendant had dozens of watches costing $35,000 or more each and hundreds of high-end cuff link sets among other extravagances he treated himself to with his clients money. He has now been sentenced to 35 years in prison for his actions.
Protecting Yourself And Older Loved Ones
The insurance agent in the reported case perpetrated his fraudulent schemes for years. Many of his senior victims had no one else to review what the agent was providing, investigate the investments he offered, or question his excuses for delaying payments on the notes he sold his clients. Don’t let your older loved ones be injured by this kind of sustained abuse. Accompany them to any meetings they have with insurance agents, financial advisors, or planners. Discourage them from attending free lunch seminars and other high-pressure sales gatherings. Review all financial records and bills continually. Do a background check on any new advisors or any caregiver you allow in their home to help them. Keep all important financial papers, Social Security numbers, ATM cards and credit cards safely stowed away. Make sure there’s not a lot of cash or jewelry around that can disappear. Most importantly – never ever allow the senior to give a caregiver, insurance agent or advisor a Power of Attorney. If you suspect abuse, call elder law counsel to help you pursue all available remedies against anyone responsible for abuse, including an award of attorneys’ fees and costs for bringing your suit.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of financial elder abuse in Marin, San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the reported case in any way.